“If you choose to live in this region, you have to be prepared for earthquakes.”  a quote is from the presentation given by Dr. Dogan Kalafat as part of Fethiye’s ‘Earthquake Training Day’ held on Monday, 28th February 2005.

 

Earthquakes – (‘Deprem’)

“If you choose to live in this region, you have to be prepared for earthquakes.”

The above quote is from the presentation given by Dr. Dogan Kalafat as part of Fethiye’s ‘Earthquake Training Day’ held on Monday, 28th February 2005.

The day started with two hours of simulated search and rescue exercise in the market area. Civil Defence teams from Izmir and Mugla joined Fethiye Search and Rescue personnel to demonstrate:

  • Rescue from damaged vehicles – using cutting gear.

  • Rescue from under collapsed building using lifting gear.

  • Rescue from upper storey balcony when stairs/lifts are inaccessible – lowering a stretcher on ropes.

  • Rescue from water – using a bosun’s chair.

In addition to these scenarios, search and rescue dogs demonstrated their high level of training responding to silent hand/arm signals. An emergency casualty tent and soup kitchen had also been erected and, despite the heavy rain, it was certainly an action-packed morning.

In the afternoon Dr Kalafat, who is head of the Earthquake Research Centre in Istanbul (part of Bosphorus University) gave a detailed presentation to a packed audience at the Cultural Centre. His message was clear – be prepared. The last major quake in this region (6 or above on the Richter scale) was the famous 1957 earthquake here in Fethiye. Statistically it can be argued that we are due for another one. But before you panic, remember they’ve been saying that for many years in California where the 1906 San Francisco quake has never been repeated.

California and Japan were mentioned regularly by Dr Kalafat as earthquake-prone regions where, when a quake does occur, there is rarely significant loss of life. This is because buildings are constructed to a high standard and the population know what to do when the ground starts to shake. His expert advice is:

  • Go to bed with shoes, torch and work-gloves in easy reach.

  • Make sure all members of your household are aware of the risk of earthquakes.

  • Draw up a plan for what to do when it happens – and make sure everyone in your house knows and understands the plan.

  • Don’t try to leave the building while the quake is underway. Take cover under a table or crouch in the corner of the room/behind a sofa with arms on top of your head.

  • As soon as the tremors stop get out of the building. If you’re in an apartment above ground level don’t take the lift.

Have an ‘earthquake kit’ always ready and take it with you when you leave the house. It should contain:

  • Water

  • High calorie food – nuts, dried fruit, chocolate

  • Torch

  • Battery-operated radio

  • Spare batteries for above

  • First Aid kit.

The kit will fit into a small bag which you should keep near the main door of your house/apartment.

Finally, make sure all heavy furniture (wardrobes, bookcases, etc.) are fastened to the wall securely. According to Dr Kalafat many people die in earthquakes as a result of being crushed within the home when the tremors are at their height.

Thankfully, most of the activity results in tremors rather than full scale town shakers. Many of the tremors go unnoticed because they are so small. The TRT TV network lists the location and scale of daily tremors exceeding 3.0 on the Richter scale on page 196 of its teletext service (Turkish language). For example on 11 February 2005 – 7 tremors were recorded around the country. The highest reading on that day was 3.3.

Further information can also be found at www.koeri.boun.edu.tr

Earthquakes from the last year in the Fethiye area are mapped on this site.

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